STORES Magazine - June 2008 - (Page 10)

CONSIDER THIS / PRESIDENT’S PAGE Plan for the Unthinkable BY TRACY MULLIN The Voice of Retail Worldwide STORES is published by NRF Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of National Retail Federation Inc., 325 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004. (202) 783-7971 FAX (202) 737-2849 ost retail executives start their days thinking about everything from comp-store sales to advertising effectiveness to the latest technology glitch. They rarely think about how a violent attack in one of their stores might affect the entire company. But they should. In just the past six months, incidents in Omaha, Chicago, and Miami retail stores have brought the issue of workplace violence to the forefront. Many of these occurrences involved active shooters, people using guns or rifles who are actively engaged in killing others. These incidents are especially unpredictable and nearly impossible to prevent, as both places and people are often selected at random. And while retail stores are, by and large, safe places to work and shop, any populated area could be a target. How retailers should prepare for a situation involving an active shooter will be one of the main topics of discussion later this month at NRF’s Loss Prevention Conference & EXPO in Orlando. Because store layouts and formats differ so widely, there is no blueprint for the best way to handle these incidents, but experts agree that preparation is essential to keep customers and employees as safe as possible during a violent assault. Loss prevention executives must work with store managers and property managers to anticipate these events. They must consider every scenario in advance, determining how best to react and respond in a limited time frame. Plans must be made for the best way to communicate with customers (and, possibly, mall management) during attacks. One of the most difficult challenges in planning and training for such incidents is finding an appropriate way to handle the issue without creating panic or a sense of fear. At a minimum, associates need to be trained to think on their feet and remain calm. They should know the location of all exits and recognize who is responsible in the event of a lockdown. Discussing how to handle an incident involving an active shooter can be more important than preparation for other emergencies because, once under way, the event itself doesn’t last long. In fact, most of these horrifying incidents are over in three or four minutes, meaning that store managers, employees and customers have just a few seconds to react. Preparation also includes having a plan for what to do after an attack: Employees and customers may need counseling, a store may be closed for an undetermined amount of time and sales could suffer even when it has reopened. In addition, retailers should plan to analyze and critique every incident – no matter how small – to better prepare for future situations. If you’re not thinking about violent attacks in your stores, chances are that store managers and employees aren’t, either. While unpleasant to consider, preparing your stores for an attack will undoubtedly help first responders handle the situation quickly and could save the lives of dozens of customers and employees. M CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Myron E. Ullman, III, Chairman, President and CEO, J.C. Penney Co. VICE CHAIRMEN Philip L. Francis, Chairman and CEO, PetSmart, Inc. Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Saks Inc. PRESIDENT & CEO Tracy Mullin SENIOR VICE PRESIDENTS Denise Brasse, Industry Relations Mallory B. Duncan, General Counsel Mike Gatti, Communications David Hogan, CIO Carleen C. Kohut, Finance & CFO Steven J. Pfister, Government Relations NRF Divisions Association for Retail Technology Standards EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Richard E. Mader (202) 626-8140 National Council of Chain Restaurants PRESIDENT John R. (Jack) Whipple (202) 626-8183 FAX: (202) 626-8185 Retail Advertising & Marketing Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Mike Gatti (202) 626-8117 FAX: (202) 737-2849 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Scott Silverman (202) 626-8192 FAX: (202) 626-8191 325 7th Street, NW Suite 1100 Washington, D.C. 20004 All articles published in this magazine represent solely the individual opinions of the writers, and not necessarily those of the National Retail Federation. 10 STORES / JUNE 2008 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2008

STORES Magazine - June 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Tesco Tests Carbon Labels
What Shoppers Think
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Boom - or Bust
Green Retailing
Online Marketing
Building Traffic
Water Management
Digital Marketing
Loyalty Programs
Special Report: Taking on Teens
Supply Chain - Robo Crop
Human Resources
Supply Chain - Directory Assistance
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - June 2008